There’s so much that’s great about being a woman in your 40s.
You feel more vibrant and self-confident than ever before, and you care a whole lot less about what other people think of you and your life choices.
But about six months ago, I started feeling completely depleted of energy, and I began to wonder what was wrong with me.
On top of this, things were happening that were completely out of character for me.
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I was going to bed before my kids, at 8.30pm.
I was absentminded – like the time I was walking around the house looking for my mobile phone, yelling at the kids for the one who stole it to give it back, all while I was holding it against my ear, talking on it.
One day I stared at the computer screen trying so hard to remember the access key to my bank account – the same number I’ve typed daily for the last 15 or so years, but I just couldn’t.
I spent days staring at yet another empty Word document, praying for some words to come out of my scattered brain.
I’d spend a few mornings a week feeling like I’d just come out of a sauna.
And even though I’ve always been prone to headaches due to scoliosis, they reached the next level.
I knew it was time to visit the doctor, because I started seriously wondering whether I had a brain tumour – the pain was that bad.
The doctor suspected it may be my eyesight causing the headaches (she was in part right; it turned out I did need glasses for driving).
She also reassured me that it was highly unlikely I had a brain tumour, but made no mention of my symptoms potentially being related to hormonal changes.
As the months passed, I felt my energy levels drop further. My mood was low. My patience with my kids was wearing thin. I started to feel exhausted and not myself, all day every day.
And even though I’m on the pill, my periods became irregular. At one point they stopped for two months and I panicked that I was pregnant – and there was absolutely no way I wanted to be pregnant nor have another baby at 46. I know I am done in that department. So just the thought of being pregnant again made me cry (my last pregnancy at 37 was tough enough!).
Then I cried more because I felt so guilty that I’ve been blessed enough to be able to bear children when so many can’t.